Erle Ellis is Professor at the department for Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. He is also the director of UMBC’s Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology.
Ellis is a leading theorist on the Anthropocene, a term increasingly used by scientists to describe the age of humans. His research investigates the ecology of anthropogenic landscapes at local to global scales with the aim of informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene.
Ellis has recently theorized the concept of "anthromes" (human biomes), which represent the global ecological patterns created by sustained direct human interactions with ecosystems. Other recent projects include the development of online tools for global synthesis of local knowledge as well as inexpensive user-deployed tools for mapping landscapes in 3D.
Erle Ellis’ earlier work focused on long-term ecological changes in ancient village landscapes across China in the transition from traditional to industrially-based agricultural systems.
Ellis holds a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Cornell University.